For those of you that haven’t heard, there’s a little band called KOHOSH that hail from Seattle, WA. And if you haven’t heard of them yet- well it’s about damn time! You may already know their members from previous stellar bands such as AGATHA, ALLIACEOUS, CONTRAVENE, CREOSOTE, GARMONBOZIA, OROKU, PIPSQUEAK, ROANOKE, SKARP, and SNUGGLE, to name a few. If you like to dance around to the aforementioned slabs of vinyl at home in your spare time (you know who you are), then this will be a welcome addition to your collection…
Musically, they can best be described as melodic-anarcho punk, with whispers of influence from older bands such as CRASS, THE MOB, or ZOUNDS hinting at the roots. One can definitely hear strong similarities to more current indoctrinations of anarcho-punk and melodic crust bands the members have previously been a part of, such as CREOSOTE, CONTRAVENE, and GARMONBOZIA. I also hear influences from other international bands such as Sweden’s BURNING KITCHEN, and Poland’s POST REGIMENT. That being said, KOHOSH’s music is layered, complex, and beautiful, drawing off multiple influences to find and hone it’s prolific sound. Dual guitars dance in front of rolling bass lines and powerful drum beats. The cello brings us from almost haunting, dismal, intimate moments to energy packed crescendos, and the female-fronted vocals with backing male accents reel it in to make this album a powerhouse. Pretty and melodic, then catchy and upbeat; each song is an epic build up and break down. There are only 5 of them on the album, so don’t be surprised if you want to listen to this one over and over to take it all in.
Art work for the outside of the album is two toned paper-bag brown and black. The cover art features a drawing of two adorable anarcho-punk prototypes, read: dread-mullets, patched clothing, backpacks filled with rope, slingshots, and arrows. If one could span the horizon and peer into the distance, behind the foreground of a Slug and Lettuce cover Hush drawing, these kids would be sitting on a grass hill off in the distance. The back cover drawing shows multiple masked faces in action in a squatted building. Fists raised and white flags waving, it is a two-dimensional image of defiant hope- a theme that is echoed over and over again in the lyrics of the album.
Poetic, somber and resistant, Taryn’s lyrics to Survival Guide are personal and powerful. Themes of moving forward yet feeling stuck, seeing the pain in the eyes of her friends and their actions, being independent and standing your own ground. Questioning the self-destructive behavior she sees around her. Reaching for the light she sees in the darkness. There is hope in these lyrics, but it is not without its pain.
A great project that was collectively put out by Acclaim Collective, Cut the Cord that Records, Persons Unknown Records, Tomorrow Belongs to Us, and Trujaca Fala. KOHOSH are going on a west coast tour this APRIL, so you may get the chance to see them live and pick up a copy of the LP to boot! There’s a lot to listen to here in KOHOSH Survival Guide; for fans of any of the bands or labels listed above, I give this one two hitch-hiker thumbs up. (Maygun)
kohoshband (AT) gmail (DOT) com